Kemah, Texas is a quaint community just south of Houston on Galveston Bay. The city lies on the water, which makes it perfect for indulging in water sports, boating, and swimming. Book a cozy Kemah vacation rental on the water, and watch the sun rise every morning from your deck or porch. When you’re not splashing in the water, you can stroll down the boardwalk with your kids, as well as go shopping or grab a bite to eat. Here are several great family-friendly activities to check out while in Kemah.

1. Visit Stingray Reef

While Stingray Reef is aptly named for its multitude of stingrays–the kids can actually touch and feed them–the aquarium also boasts dozens of species of tropical fish. Along with the 50,000-gallon aquarium, there’s a rainforest exhibit featuring turtles, scorpions, snakes, and even piranhas. While there, grab a bite and dine while watching the show.

2. Stroll along Kemah Boardwalk

While visiting Stingray Reef, stop along the rest of Kemah Boardwalk. The boardwalk, which meanders along the Galveston Bay, contains rides perfect for little kids such as the Ferris wheel and a double-decker carousel. There’s also the HypnoSpin, Jungle Bounce, Aviator, Rockin’ Rocket, and Flare for older kids. After that adrenaline rush, take the family to Midway Games and the arcade for some more fun. Finish off your waterfront day with some authentic Mexican food at Cadillac Bar, or enjoy some fresh fish at Landry’s Seafood House.

3. Explore the Kemah Lighthouse Maze

Don’t forget to explore the Kemah Lighthouse Maze, a 5,000 square foot structure that challenges the family on a different level. There are even observation posts you can climb to encourage the little ones as they race each other to the end. Really challenge yourself and the older kids with maze running at night.

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4. Go Sailing

Located on the Galveston Bay just a short hop to the Gulf of Mexico, Kemah is the perfect place to do a little boating. Take a family sailing course at All Points of Sail where you can learn the basics of the craft, which is a great educational and family-building experience. Opt for a speedier experience and charter or rent a motor boat. South Coast Sailing Adventures and Sailaway Clear Lake Charters both offer watercrafts of all shapes and sizes. If you want to get a little closer to the water, rent a kayak or paddleboard at Southwest Kayak Rentals and Tours or Pinky’s Kayak Rentals.

5. Cruise along in the Boardwalk Beast

Combine an amusement park ride with boating on the Boardwalk Beast. This boat ride boasts plenty of speed, wind, and splashing. At 40 miles per hour, the boat gives your kids quite the thrill. Just come prepared to get wet (for nearly half an hour).

6. Try Out Samano’s Hobbies

Stop at Samano’s Hobbies for a few toys from remote-controlled cars to radio-controlled boats and planes. This store accommodates a variety of skill levels so that everybody in the family can indulge from experienced adults to the youngest children. Take your prizes out to Clear Lake Park or Deep Hole Park for a spin, the perfect locations that have both water access for your toy boat and broad spaces and a wide sky for your toy planes.

7. Go Fishing

Instill some patience into your kids and teach them the joys of an afternoon relaxing by going fishing. Galveston Trophy Charters takes you on a guided fishing tour of Galveston Bay where flounder and speckled trout are plentiful. Clear Lake Texas Fishing Trips is a charter service that specializes in flounder and redfish fishing. They provide all the equipment you need (so you don’t have to haul out all your lures) and even clean your fish for you. If you are a hardcore fishing enthusiast, then Reaves Outfitters offers truly unique experiences from tarpon fishing to shark fishing. However, you don’t need a boat to experience the joys of fishing. Clear Lake Park has a fishing pier and boat launch available and a playground for the little ones.

8. Go to the Museum

After fishing at Clear Lake Park, stop at the Bay Area Museum located on the northwest corner of the park. The museum explores the local history and has exhibits of nearby archeological sites and the relics from those areas. The Old Kemah School Museum and Old Railroad Station Museum also contain historical exhibits of the Bay Area. The Butler Longhorn Museum is all about cows and ranching, a story as old as Texas. Kids can get a glimpse of the unique longhorn cattle in the education center, watch a video in the theater, and stroll the Ghirardi Italian Heritage Homestead. If your kids are into space and all things that fly, head into Houston proper to visit the Lone Star Flight Museum. You can actually go up in a World War II-era aircraft such as a Boeing B-17, the Flying Fortress that went on bombing raids, and the twin-engine bomber North American B-25.

9. Visit the Armand Bayou Nature Center

Experience the Armand Bayou Nature Center that offers hiking and walking trails that meander through wetlands, forests, and prairies. Opt for a boat tour of the area, and keep your eyes open for prevalent deer. The observation deck gives you a great view of all the local birds. Children can learn even more at the children’s discovery area as well as the organic vegetable, heritage, and Watersmart gardens.

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